Homeschooling: Introduction

We have always intended to homeschool. As Sprout approached age three, we discussed how we wanted to go about this. I decided to write about our process here, in case it would be useful for someone else. I am not telling you that you ought to homeschool or that you need to do it this way. I am certainly no expert! And I expect our approach and even goals to change over the coming years.

This is just me sharing my decision making process, progress, and such. โ˜บ

As with other topics, this will be an on-going series. I hope to share updates every month, at least; more often if I make adjustments or have something particular to address.


She Cooks: Tomato Soup

This makes a great low-calorie lunch for one. And can easily be scaled up for more servings.


Single-Serve Tomato Soup

1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1 tsp dried basil leaves

Combine everything and heat until warm. Or microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.

I like to serve this with sliced cheddar cheese and whole wheat crackers, a grilled cheese sandwich, or a BLT sandwich, depending on my calorie goals for lunch that day. โ˜บ

WIP Wednesday: Knits & Hibernating Stitching

I have been on a knitting kick. It is something I can do with the kids around, which means I have much more time for it. On my needles right now, I have…

… a Snowflake sweater (pattern by tincanknits) for Sprout. I am knitting it out of a cotton-wool blend my Polish pen-pal sent me. Funny story about this pattern. It is not a free pattern. My friend told me she thought the yarn would be enough for it and it would be really cute on Sprout. I agreed but didn’t buy the pattern right away. I was waiting until I was ready to cast on. Last week, just as I was finishing up my previous projects, I won a giveaway for a free pattern download of my choice. ๐Ÿ˜€ So I didn’t have to buy the pattern after all, but still get to knit it.


… socks, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰ These are Frasier Fir socks (pattern by Verena Cohrs) for myself. I am on the gusset increasing for the second sock — so about halfway, I’d guess. The pale green yarn is something I received in a swap package, and the dark green I’m using for the cuff is from a mini-skein (about 10 grams each) rainbow set I won in a giveaway.


I’m rocking the freebies on the knitting front, right now. ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a cross-stitch WIP, too. It has been languishing forย *mumble, mumble* a year… ahem. I am not eager to finish it, obviously, but I do look forward to working on it more soon.

And I have a sewing project on hold as well. It is a pink button-down top that has also been on hold for a year. I think I had all the pieces cut out and maybe even started stitching some of it together.

My goal is to get the cross-stitch and sewn top done by the end of the year. I won’t begin anymore complicated knits (lace shawls, in particular) now that the Portobello is done. I will use my kid-free crafting time to work on the other two projects.

She Knits: Portobello Shawl

I was sent this yarn and pattern kit in a recent swap I participated in with a group on Ravelry. It came all the way from the U.K. ๐Ÿ™‚

Progression Info
Started – April 17
Completed – May 6
Duration – 19 days = 2.7 weeks

I really must be a “fast” knitter… ๐Ÿ™‚

Pattern Info
Portobello by Clare Devine

This is different than most lace shawls I have knit. For one, it is mostly garter stitch. And for two, the body is mostly a solid fabric.

The shape is interesting. It is a sort of spiral type of thing, achieved by adding in “wedges” from time to time. The border is lace that was easy to knit.

This would make a great beginner lace pattern. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t enjoy knitting garter stitch. And this yarn made it more cumbersome, I think. But it obviously wasn’t enough to deter me. I think this would be more enjoyable to knit in a less fuzzy, perhaps even a heavier weight (sport weight, maybe) yarn.

I learned a new bind off with this project: the Icelandic bind off. It is the bind-off called for in the pattern. It is supposed to be a stretchy bind off, but it doesn’t seem so to me. I would have rather used JSSBO, but wasn’t sure about the yarn usage, and was running so low, I didn’t want to chance it.

Yarn Info
Ginger’s Hand Dyed Wensleydale 4ply
100% Wensleydale wool
Colorway: porto (dark green)
2 skeins = 371.8 yds used
Colorway: bello (light green)
1 skein = 186.0 yds used

I usedย every bit of this yarn. Actually, I had to change colors a little over one row earlier than called for because I ran out of the dark green. I think this pattern and yarn were designed together, so I’m not sure if the designer intended it to be such a close call with the yarn or if my gauge was slightly off (I believe the latter). At any rate, it did make me wonder if I would then used up the light green too soon, since I had started it a row early. And I nearly did! I think I have 1-2 yards left. It worked out in the end, though, and I don’t think the early color change is noticeable.

This is a different wool for me. I have only used Peruvian highland and merino wools before. This Wensleydale seems to have a shorter staple length. The yarn is so fuzzy, it is nearly impossible to separate the plies — the yarn just falls apart. I did manage to do it in order to join the two dark green skeins with a braided join, but it was tedious. I should have joined them by felting (I use the braided join essentially every time). Also, it is not as soft as a merino, but seems comparable in softness to a Peruvian highland wool.


She Knits: Pennyroyal Hat

This yarn came to me all the way from Poland. ๐Ÿ™‚ It is not a Polish yarn, but it was sent by a pen-pal friend of mine. She knew I wanted to knit myself a hat, and also thought I would like purple. She was right. She even sent the pom-pom!

I started this right away after finishing a gift project and a disappointing pair of socks. It flew off the needles and was a joy to knit.

Progression Info
Started – April 11
Completed – April 12
Duration – 1 day

See? Absolutelyย flew off the needles. I was a bit disappointed that it went so quickly. Ha!

Pattern Info
Pennyroyal Hat by Tracey Lambert

This is a simple, but interesting design It has a lace zig-zag pattern around it.

Yarn Info
Malabrigo Yarn Rios
Colorway: purple mystery
0.5 skeins = 105.0 yds used

This hat used exactly half the skein. I think matching mitts are in my future. ๐Ÿ™‚